Palmetto has a team of motivated solar sales partners that we call our Alchemists. They work with clients all over the country to connect them with the solar technology they need to break free from their dependence on fossil fuels. Since Palmetto is hiring a new group of solar sales partners, we thought we’d explore some of the elements of the job, including what ideas you need to communicate to your clients.
Part of being successful in a solar sales career is understanding the entire solar panel installation process. While many might believe it’s as simple as mounting a few panels anywhere on a home, it’s actually far more nuanced than that. When you’re working with a client to sell them on a new solar panel installation, make sure to ask them these questions and keep these items in mind.
Is Your Roof Capable of Supporting Solar Panels
The roof of any home is one of the most important architectural elements. It shields families from the weather, keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer. It’s also one of the best places to implement a solar panel installation. But not all roofs are created equally. When selling solar panels, it’s important to work with your clients to discern if their roof can actually support the array. When making this evaluation, ask your questions about the following:
How old is your roof? The average asphalt shingle roof can go more than 20 years without needing to be repaired or replaced. The same can be said for solar panel installations. You’ll want to make sure that your client’s roof is near the end of its life so that they can have it replaced before the array is added to it. This helps to prevent a scenario where the roof needs to be replaced before the array does.
How large is your roof? Another concern for solar panel arrays is the size and usable roof space available to your client. Small roofs or roofs with lots of interruptions like skylights, vents, chimneys, and windows may not be a great fit for solar panels, even if that roof faces directly South. The ideal roof for solar panels has no interruptions, faces within 40 degrees of South, and has a large surface area on which to place plenty of solar panels.
What are your HOA regulations like? There’s no denying that solar panels have a certain aesthetic. While many likely appreciate the appearance, some HOAs feel that they disrupt the visual cohesion of a neighborhood if only one or a few homes have them. You should encourage your client to connect with their homeowner's association before they commit to a solar panel array to ensure they can actually have them installed on their home.
Asking these questions help you determine whether your client’s roof can support a solar panel installation. If the roof cannot support solar panels, you might discuss establishing a solar array somewhere else on the property.
How Many Solar Panels Does Your Client Need?
Once you’ve established that your client’s roof is a good candidate for an array, it’s time to figure out just how much energy they use on a day-to-day basis. The fact is, no two homes will need the same number of solar panels. A variety of factors can influence their regular energy usage, and therefore, the number of panels they need. When creating an estimate of how many panels a client might need for their home, keep these factors in mind:
What is there average energy usage like? Ask your client to review their energy bills over the last year. More than likely, your client will notice jumps in their energy bill during the winter months, as well as in the middle of summer, as during these periods they’re running their HVAC systems more regularly. Get an average monthly total. The more energy a client uses every month, the more panels they’ll need in their array.
How much sun does your roof get? The reality is that a solar array needs a certain amount of sunlight each day to truly be effective. Your client might already have a sense of how much sunlight their roof gets, or may know of obstructions that cast shadows on their home. An easy way to figure out how much sunlight your client’s home gets is to use Google’s Project Sunroof. Entering in your address will reveal how many hours of usable sunlight a home gets in a given year. If Project Sunroof doesn’t have information on your client’s home, you can use the solar maps from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Using This Information
Once you’ve determined the size and usability of the client’s roof, as well as their energy needs, you can create a price estimate for them and produce a proposal. These resources will help your client make an informed decision when purchasing a solar panel array from you.
Are you passionate about renewable energy and clean technology? Ready to help others share in your excitement? Then it’s time to join Palmetto’s team of Alchemists. Our solar sales partners connect our clients with the resources they need to embrace clean, renewable solar energy. Get started in your new solar sales job today and apply now.